OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

The Plan for Liberation as Provided by the Robber Bridegroom Tale and the Struggle for Legitimacy


Marina Warner, in her piece titled The Old Wives’ Tale, argues that fairy tales have the potential to “exchange knowledge between an older voice of experience and a younger audience” (314). Warner’s claim suggests that the loss of spoken folk tales and the denigration of fairy tales have silenced stories such as the Brother Grimm’s The Robber Bridegroom, which in turn silences warnings within those stories for marginalized groups, such as women. Interpreted through Warner’s critical lens, The Robber Bridegroom can be interpreted to mean that the oppression or liberation of women is contingent on available knowledge, passed down through the female characters, and whether it is silenced or vocalized. However, given the need for the Me-Too Movement, it is clear that the issues this tale means to address have not been effectively dealt with, as elements of a patriarchy are still firmly in place today. In fact, the Me-Too movement shows that the problem is much larger than many previously thought. Unfortunately, such media outlets as Fox News, using the same sociological mechanisms described by Warner in her piece of criticism, attempt to delegitimize the movement, forcefully vocalizing their opinion that the women of Me-Too are disingenuous. Relatedly in the civil rights movement, the powerful voice of W.E.B. Du Bois underscores the oppression of women, suggesting a parallel with the centrality of racism. Furthermore, Du Bois suggest that plans for the liberation of women and of “Blacks” share a pattern which is recognizable in The Robber Bridegroom.

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